18. Robert de Lisle. "Tree of Life," c. 1330-1340.
Published here in: Lucy Freeman Sandler. The Psalter of Robert de Lisle in the British Library. London: H. Miller; New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.
Sloane Art Library Folio.

Robert de Lisle's "Tree of Life" is not, strictly speaking, a poem, but it nonetheless uses visual art to enhance its textual message in similar ways. The titular tree is likened both to the cross and to man's growth from the ground towards the sky (i.e., heaven). Each of the twelve branches represents a portion of the New Testament, and each features an Old Testament prophet commenting to the side. The branches may also be seen as the 12 stations of the cross necessary for Christ to ascend to heaven, and as rungs of a ladder which Man can metaphorically climb by studying the books of the Bible listed thereon.

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